Women-Owned Business Series: Erica from Literie Candle

Welcome back to our Women-Owned Business Series! This time, we’re happy to feature Erica from Literie Candle! Ever stroll down the streets of Manhattan and wish you could bottle up the smell from the roasted nut carts? Well, with Literie Candle, you can! Read on to learn about Literie Candle and its unforgettable scents!

First, tell us about your business and anything special we should know about it or you.

Literie was inspired by preserving life’s most memorable moments through lighthearted and thoughtful candles. What began with bottling the scents of the best parts of New York City from the Great Lawn of Central Park to Midtown’s ubiquitous roasted nut carts and the 28th street flower markets has grown to include scents from Miami, the U.S. Open, and even unforgettable scenes from Bravo’s The Real Housewives.

Why do you feel a connection to your work?

I created Literie in honor of my father who loved the scent of the hot roasted nut carts in New York City. As an entrepreneur himself, he would be so proud of what I created. He passed away a couple of years before I launched the business.

As a business owner, community is everything. In what ways do you serve your community and how has your community served you?

The community of New York City has given us endless inspiration for our candles. In return, we partner with New York Cares and Heritage of Pride, two local non-profits that receive the proceeds of two of our candles throughout the year.

What advice would you give to young women who want to start a small business?

Don’t be afriad to ask for you want. When I started this business, I was bending over backwards to create deals that would benefit the other side more, just so they would work with me. When I started to ask for what I wanted and needed, the deals became stronger and better in the long term since both parties were benefiting from it. And although we’ve been taught to be independent and take care of ourselves, it’s ok to ask for help. Many people in the start-up industry want to see you succeed and will be happy to be a sounding board, or offer real hands on help if you just ask.

What do you think are the most significant challenges for women business owners or women in leadership positions?

It’s amazing how many times I am at a dinner with male entrepreneurs and they will talk about my business as if I am not even at the table. They will go back and forth about ideas and tell me what I need to be doing, without even asking me where I might be struggling. I think there is an interesting theme of ownership, and that to some it’s impossible that a woman could create an idea and build a business from it without any input or help from a man. Funny enough, our entire team is 100% female, and I find we are so much more collaborative and find success when we share and work off of our ideas as a group.

Learn more about Literie Candle here and check out their feature in the New York Times!

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